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How Long It Takes to Become a Millionaire in Every State

Jami Farkas
·15 min read
haveseen / Shutterstock.com
haveseen / Shutterstock.com

Just what does it take to be considered “rich”? In a GOBankingRates survey, most Americans said having at least $1 million in savings makes you rich. Very few people actually earn a seven-figure salary, but it is possible to save $1 million even if you’re earning a median income — but that could take a while.

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GOBankingRates calculated how long it takes to become a millionaire in every state in three ways: by looking at household income, by taking cost of living into account and by considering cost of living and investments. This roundup is focused on the third calculation, which assumes you earn the state’s median income, spend the average per capita for personal consumption and invest what’s left over. The calculation assumes a 5.5% return on investment, which is the average return on long-term investments.

The study’s results show that it’s easier to save $1 million in some states where the cost of living is lower.

Check out how long it’ll take you to become a millionaire in each state.

Last updated: Feb. 18, 2021

Montgomery, Alabama, USA with the State Capitol.
Montgomery, Alabama, USA with the State Capitol.

Alabama: 63 Years

Even though Alabama has the sixth-lowest median household income in the U.S. — $50,536 — it’s not one of the top 10 states where it takes the longest to be a millionaire. That’s because it’s also the state with the third-lowest cost of living.

From Alabama to Wyoming: The Cost of Living Across America

Alaska: 35 Years

The amount of time it takes to be a millionaire in Alaska earning the median household income is the sixth-shortest of all the states. It’s also the state with the sixth-highest median household income — $77,640 — which helps to amass more money faster.

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Saguaros at Sunset in Sonoran Desert near Phoenix.
Saguaros at Sunset in Sonoran Desert near Phoenix.

Arizona: 45 Years

Arizona has the 13th-lowest per capita personal spending of all the states, but its median household income is in the bottom half of the nation, so it still takes longer here to be a millionaire than in many states.

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Arkansas
Arkansas

Arkansas: 75 Years

It takes the sixth-longest amount of time to save $1 million in Arkansas compared to the other states. Arkansas’ median household income is $47,597 — the third-lowest in the U.S. — so it would take a long time for the average resident there to save that much money.

Learn More: What’s the Difference Between Being Rich and Being Wealthy?

People ride cable car in San Francisco, California, USA on a sunny day.
People ride cable car in San Francisco, California, USA on a sunny day.

California: 37 Years

At 37 years to become a millionaire, California is the state where it takes the eighth-shortest amount of time to save seven figures. It’s also the state with the eighth-highest median household income among the states at $75,235.

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Telluride-CO
Telluride-CO

Colorado: 36 Years

Colorado is the state where it takes the seventh-shortest amount of time to save $1 million. However, it would take longer if you don’t invest: about 38 years.

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Connecticut
Connecticut

Connecticut: 40 Years

Connecticut falls just outside the top 10 in the amount of time it takes to become a millionaire — it ranks 12th among the states — due in part to its high median household income. At $78,444 the Northeast state has the fifth-highest median income among states.

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Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek.
Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek.

Delaware: 42 Years

If you earn the median household income in Delaware, it would take nearly 15 years to become a millionaire — if you didn’t have any expenses. Realistically, it would take 42 years if you put savings into investments, and 44 years if you don’t.

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Washington DC, USA at the tidal basin with Washington Monument in spring season.
Washington DC, USA at the tidal basin with Washington Monument in spring season.

District of Columbia: 45 Years

Washington, D.C., has the highest median income in the U.S. — $86,420 — but its cost of living is also the highest at $65,352.

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Coconut palm tree on a beautiful sunny summer afternoon in Hollywood Beach near Miami Florida with ocean and blue sky in the background.
Coconut palm tree on a beautiful sunny summer afternoon in Hollywood Beach near Miami Florida with ocean and blue sky in the background.

Florida: 75 Years

It takes a long time — the 10th-longest time of all the states — to save $1 million in Florida. Without investing, it takes even longer: 79 years.

Click to See: Here’s How Much You Need to Earn to Be ‘Rich’ in Every State

Macon, Georgia, USA historic downtown skyline.
Macon, Georgia, USA historic downtown skyline.

Georgia: 46 Years

The median household income in Georgia is $58,700, and the average per capita personal consumption cost is $38,076. If you save the difference each year, you’ll be able to rack up $1 million in 48 years, or two years less if you put the difference into investments.

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Palm trees along the beach in Hawaii
Palm trees along the beach in Hawaii

Hawaii: 30 Years

The Aloha State is a good place for aspiring millionaires: It takes the third-shortest amount of time to save seven figures here compared to the other states. That’s due in part to the fact that it also has the third-highest median household income among the states: $81,275.

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Coeur-d-Alene-Idaho
Coeur-d-Alene-Idaho

Idaho: 51 Years

In Idaho, the average household is able to save $18,602 per year assuming they earn the median income and spend the average amount on living costs. If that money is put directly into savings, you’d have a $1 million balance in 54 years, or three years less if that money goes into investments.

Read More: Here’s How Much Teachers Make in Every State

The Bean Chicago Illinois
The Bean Chicago Illinois

Illinois: 48 Years

Illinois’ median household income is $65,886. If you were able to save every penny from that income, you’d be a millionaire in 15 years.

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A walkway in White River State Park fills the foreground leading back to the main skyline of Indianapolis, Indiana.
A walkway in White River State Park fills the foreground leading back to the main skyline of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indiana: 55 Years

If you earn the median household income and spend the average amount on living costs in Indiana, you’d be able to save $17,158 each year. That means you’d be a millionaire in 58 years if you saved — but didn’t invest — that money.

Downtown Des Moines, Iowa in the evening.
Downtown Des Moines, Iowa in the evening.

Iowa: 45 Years

The median household income in Iowa is $60,523, and the average spent per capita on personal consumption is $39,324. If you invest what’s left over, you could be a millionaire in 45 years; if you put it into savings, you’d be a millionaire in 47 years.

Topeka Kansas
Topeka Kansas

Kansas: 46 Years

A household earning the median income — $59,597 — and spending the average amount on living costs — $38,898 — in Kansas would be able to save $20,699 annually. That means it would take 48 years to be a millionaire in the state without investing.

woman watching horses in Kentucky
woman watching horses in Kentucky

Kentucky: 67 Years

Kentucky has the seventh-lowest median household income in the U.S. at $50,589. The average Kentucky resident has $14,241 after expenses to save.

Louisiana
Louisiana

Louisiana: 78 Years

The amount of time it takes to be a millionaire in Louisiana is the second longest of all the states. That’s because the state has the fourth-lowest median household income in the U.S. at $49,469.

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Portland is the largest city in the state of Maine located on a penninsula extended into the scenic Casco Bay.
Portland is the largest city in the state of Maine located on a penninsula extended into the scenic Casco Bay.

Maine: 90 Years

Most people won’t live to be millionaires in Maine, where it takes the second-longest amount of time of all the states to save $1 million. That’s because the state has the second-highest amount of expenditures relative to earnings, allowing for savings of just $10,567 per year.

Maryland
Maryland

Maryland: 25 Years

Sure, 25 years sounds like a long time, but Maryland is the state where the average person can become a millionaire the quickest. That makes sense given that it’s also the state with the highest median household income: $84,805.

Massachusetts
Massachusetts

Massachusetts: 38 Years

The median household income in Massachusetts is $81,215, which is the fourth-highest in the U.S., but its per capita personal spending is the highest among all states. Still, it is one of the top 10 states where you can become a millionaire the fastest.

Autumn colors along the Flint River in downtown Flint, Michigan.
Autumn colors along the Flint River in downtown Flint, Michigan.

Michigan: 62 Years

Michigan’s median household income is $57,144, and its average per capita personal consumption spending is $41,816. If you save what’s leftover rather than invest it, it would take 65 years to gain millionaire status.

Minneapolis-Minnesota
Minneapolis-Minnesota

Minnesota: 39 Years

The Land of 10,000 Lakes has a median household income of $71,306, allowing for per capita savings of $24,147. Without investing those savings, it would take 41 years to become a millionaire.

Jackson, Mississippi, USA downtown cityscape at the capitol.
Jackson, Mississippi, USA downtown cityscape at the capitol.

Mississippi: 74 Years

Mississippi is the state in which it takes the ninth-longest amount of time to become a millionaire, which isn’t surprising given that it’s the state with the lowest median household income at $45,081.

City of St. Louis, Missouri skyline
City of St. Louis, Missouri skyline

Missouri: 67 Years

A household earning Missouri’s median income — $55,461 — and spending the average amount on living costs — $41,279 — would save $14,182 a year. Without investing that money, it would take 70 years to save $1 million.

Livingston Montana
Livingston Montana

Montana: 75 Years

Montana residents need the fifth-longest amount of time to become a millionaire. That’s because the amount a household is able to save annually earning the median income and spending the average on living costs is very low — only $12,570.

Downtown Omaha skyline with the Heartland of America Park (with a lake and fall colored trees) in the foreground.
Downtown Omaha skyline with the Heartland of America Park (with a lake and fall colored trees) in the foreground.

Nebraska: 48 Years

The median household income in Nebraska is $61,439, and the average spending per capita on personal consumption is $41,789. That means the average household would be able to save $19,650 per year, so it would take 51 years to save $1 million without investing.

Learn More: How To Invest Like a Millionaire

Las Vegas, Nevada, FHA, insurance, real estate, homebuyers, foreclosure, single-family, home median price, mortgage, down payment
Las Vegas, Nevada, FHA, insurance, real estate, homebuyers, foreclosure, single-family, home median price, mortgage, down payment

Nevada: 55 Years

A household earning the median income in the Battle Born State would be able to save an average of $17,199 after accounting for living costs. At that rate, it would take 55 years to save $1 million if that money is invested, or 58 years if it’s put into savings.

Nashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and is the second largest city in the state.
Nashua is a city in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire and is the second largest city in the state.

New Hampshire: 43 Years

The median income in New Hampshire is $76,768, which is the seventh-highest in the U.S. However, the amount it takes to cover living costs in the state is the fourth highest, so it takes longer than you might expect to be a millionaire there.

Newark New Jersey skyline viewed from Eagle Rock reservation under an orange sunset.
Newark New Jersey skyline viewed from Eagle Rock reservation under an orange sunset.

New Jersey: 33 Years

The road to millionaire status in New Jersey is (relatively) short. It takes the fourth-shortest amount of time to be a millionaire, thanks in part to its high median income. The median household income in the Garden State is $82,545, which is second only to Maryland among the 50 states.

Hillside houses and trees in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Hillside houses and trees in Santa Fe, New Mexico

New Mexico: 75 Years

New Mexico is the state where it takes the eighth-longest amount of time to be a millionaire. It also has the fifth-lowest median household income at $49,754, so it would take a long time for the average household to accrue such a large amount in savings.

11428, Empire State Building, Horizontal, New York, New York City, United States, trips, vacation
11428, Empire State Building, Horizontal, New York, New York City, United States, trips, vacation

New York: 70 Years

The cost of living in New York is the second-highest in the U.S., so not much is left over from the median salary to save or invest — $13,596 per year for a household earning the median income and spending the average amount to cover living costs.

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA skyline.
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA skyline.

North Carolina: 54 Years

Even though the per capita personal spending in North Carolina is the seventh-lowest of all the states, its median household income of $54,602 is slightly more than $30,000 below the top-earning state on the list. So it takes longer to save $1 million there than in many other states.

Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the State of North Dakota and is the county seat of Grand Forks County.
Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the State of North Dakota and is the county seat of Grand Forks County.

North Dakota: 56 Years

North Dakota falls just outside the top 10 — No. 11 — in terms of cost of living by state. Despite a median income of $64,894, it takes 56 years of saving and investing to become a millionaire.

Columbus, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio

Ohio: 68 Years

The median household income in the Buckeye State is $56,602, and the average per capita spending on personal consumption is $42,707. Putting the leftover into savings, the average household would be able to save $1 million in 72 years, or four years less if that money is invested.

Tulsa downtown skyline
Tulsa downtown skyline

Oklahoma: 55 Years

Oklahoma’s median household income is $52,919 — the eighth-lowest of all the states. Fortunately, it also has the fourth-lowest per capita personal spending, so $17,301 can be put toward saving and investing each year from that income.

Sunset View with Mount St Helens from deck of luxury homes in Happy Valley Oregon in Clackamas County.
Sunset View with Mount St Helens from deck of luxury homes in Happy Valley Oregon in Clackamas County.

Oregon: 50 Years

A household earning the median income in Oregon will bring in $62,818 each year and spend an average of $43,707 to cover living costs. That means $19,111 would be left over to save or invest.

Find Out: How To Make Your First $1 Million the Warren Buffett Way

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA downtown cityscape on Broad Street at City Hall.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA downtown cityscape on Broad Street at City Hall.

Pennsylvania: 62 Years

If you earn the median household income in Pennsylvania — $61,744 — and are able to save it all, you could be a millionaire in 18 years. More realistically, it would take 66 years to save $1 million after accounting for living costs and saving the rest, or four years less if that money went to investments.

Rhode Island
Rhode Island

Rhode Island: 47 Years

The median household income in Rhode Island — $67,167 — is in the top 20 in the United States. As a result, you can save $1 million there faster than in more than half the states.

Charleston South Carolina
Charleston South Carolina

South Carolina: 55 Years

South Carolina’s median household income — $53,199 — is the ninth lowest of all the states. It also has the fifth-lowest per capita personal spending, so $17,126 can be put toward savings or investing each year.

Panorama of Rapid City, South Dakota, USA.
Panorama of Rapid City, South Dakota, USA.

South Dakota: 78 Years

In South Dakota, it takes the fourth-longest amount of time of all the states to save up $1 million. That’s because the state has a median household income of $58,275 and per capita personal consumption costs of $46,117, leaving just $12,158 to put in the bank.

Nashville Tennessee downtown skyline at Shelby Street Bridge.
Nashville Tennessee downtown skyline at Shelby Street Bridge.

Tennessee: 60 Years

Tennessee has the 10th-lowest household income in the U.S. at $53,320, but it’s not one of the top 10 states where it takes the longest to be a millionaire. That’s due to a low cost of living — $37,582 per year on average.

Austin Texas
Austin Texas

Texas: 44 Years

The median household income in the Lone Star State is $61,874, and the average per capita spending on personal consumption is $40,552. With $21,322 remaining to save or invest, it would take 47 years to be a millionaire if that money went into savings, or three years less if it went toward investments.

Utah Salt Lake City
Utah Salt Lake City

Utah: 30 Years

It takes the second-shortest amount of time to become a millionaire in Utah compared to all the other states. That’s due to a median income of $71,621 and a cost of living of $39,514. A household earning the median income in Utah is able to save or invest an average of $32,107 each year.

Montpelier, Vermont Skyline
Montpelier, Vermont Skyline

Vermont: 75 Years

There are only six states where it takes longer to become a millionaire than it does in Vermont. That’s due in part to the fact that it’s the state with the eighth-highest cost of living, so very little is left over from the average income to save or invest. In fact, Vermont residents can save an average of just $12,596 annually.

Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia
Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia

Virginia: 34 Years

It takes the fifth-shortest amount of time to become a millionaire in Virginia compared to the other states. That’s in part thanks to its median household income of $74,222, which is the ninth-highest in the U.S.

A scenic view of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA and the Mt. Rainier
A scenic view of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA and the Mt. Rainier

Washington: 37 Years

Washington is one of just 10 states where it takes less than 40 years to save seven figures. The median income in the state is $73,775 and the average per capita spending on personal consumption is $48,274, so $25,501 is left over to save or invest each year.

sunset over Charleston West Virginia
sunset over Charleston West Virginia

West Virginia: 100 Years

It takes a full century to become a millionaire in West Virginia, longer than in any other state. It’s the state with the second-lowest median income in the U.S. — $46,711 — which makes it hard to save so much money.

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Madison Wisconsin
Madison Wisconsin

Wisconsin: 51 Years

The median income in Wisconsin is $61,747, and the cost of living is $43,168. When that difference is invested, it takes three years less to reach the $1 million mark than if it were put in a savings account.

Cheyenne downtown skyline with train cars, houses, and trees in view.
Cheyenne downtown skyline with train cars, houses, and trees in view.

Wyoming: 47 Years

Wyoming’s median household income is $64,049, and the average per capita spending on personal consumption is $43,723, which leaves $20,326 to save or invest each year. If the money is put toward savings alone, it would take 49 years to have a $1 million nest egg.

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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.

Methodology: GOBankingRates calculated how long it takes to be a millionaire in every state by using median household income data from the 2019 American Community Survey as conducted by the Census Bureau and annual consumption data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis 2019 report. GOBankingRates found the difference between what a median household in every state earns and per capita consumption in every state, and divided that figure by 1 million in order to find how many years, days and months it would take to reach $1 million in every state. All data was collected on and up to date as of Jan. 12, 2021.

Median household income was used for this study because per capita income wouldn’t cover the per capita consumption in every state. In addition, to account for investing leftover income, we took the difference between annual income and consumption expenditure and assumed it was invested in a portfolio with the average investor’s long-term average of around 5.5%, according to Zacks Investment Research.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: How Long It Takes to Become a Millionaire in Every State